Exploration Park, Fla. (October 17, 2019) – Space Florida is moving forward on a $90 million infrastructure improvement grant recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The grant will support three interrelated projects, including replacing the aging SR 405 bridge over the Indian River Lagoon, widening Space Commerce Way, and revitalizing a 3.7-mile stretch of NASA Parkway West. The project is expected to take approximately five years to complete.
With the award in place, Space Florida and its partners from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center can now move forward with the project. The grant, which is part of DOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America INFRA) program, will support growing aerospace industry and launch activities at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The current bridge will be replaced with two new high-span bridges, and the widening of the roadways will facilitate launch traffic, simplify transport of oversized launch hardware, and improve access for visitors.
“I applaud our partners at USDOT for recognizing the importance of this grant for Florida’s Space Coast,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “As our population continues to increase, modernizing the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is critical to the long-term viability of future launches, our transportation infrastructure and state economy. With this federal investment, Florida will remain a global leader in the aerospace industry for years to come.”
“Space Florida and FDOT, along with our federal partners at USDOT and NASA, are excited to have received this grant to address challenges threatening the continued growth at Cape Canaveral Spaceport,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “A lot of work remains to be done, but with this grant, I am happy to say it is full speed ahead for us.”
“I was proud to support Space Florida’s application in partnership with NASA, FDOT, and the Space Coast TPO,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “We cannot achieve our greatest aspirations in space without first providing the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, which includes the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, can support our booming space economy.”
“The space industry has long been an important and iconic part of Florida’s history and economic success,” said Senator Rick Scott. “I worked to turn Florida’s Space Coast around and position our state as national and global leader in space exploration by investing more than $230 million in spaceport projects. This investment builds on our efforts to support growth and success at the Cape and will bring more opportunities to Florida families.”
“The Indian River Bridge is critical infrastructure to our space capability, and I’m pleased to see this grant funding awarded to the State of Florida,” said Congressman Bill Posey.
“The next giant leap in space exploration is ahead of us, and infrastructure is a key element to the success of NASA’s current mission to return to the Moon and on to deep space,” said Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana. “The improvements funded by this grant will ensure we continue to meet our commitments to our commercial partners and will aid in the attraction of new aerospace companies and the world-class workforce they require.”
“We’re pleased the State was able to apply its capabilities to assure the continued success of the Cape,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “Thanks to strong support from our Congressional delegation and the Governor’s Office, and working with our partners at FDOT, KSC, and the Space Coast TPO, we can now look forward to seeing the completion of this element in maintaining Florida’s continued dominant position in the commercial space marketplace.”
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov
About Cape Canaveral Spaceport: The Cape Canaveral Spaceport, at which Space Florida has an operational spaceport authority role, is the premiere transportation hub for global space commerce. Space Florida oversees management and operation of key elements of Florida’s existing space transportation capability including the Launch and Landing Facility and Launch Complex 46. Those Cape Canaveral Spaceport capabilities are enabled by safe and secure operations across a broad landscape of space activities.